Monday, November 24, 2008

Motivational Monday (Nov. 24)

In trying to figure out how to organize my blog better, I've decided to set aside space every Monday for some motivation, so this is the first Motivational Monday blog post.

Why Monday? For starters, it's the only day that starts with the same letter as "motivation." And, well, aside from that grammatical factoid, it's the start of the week, back to the grind for most, the furthest away from next weekend as possible. Sometimes, it's hard to get motivated to get out of bed on Monday mornings, let alone think about your fitness plan for the day or week and nutritional plans/goals in general.

So today, being the first day of this week, we'll try to get motivated to stay healthy and exercise! Easier said than done...

Well, that's the point of this blog. It is said easily but that doesn't mean it can't be done easily, or without as much effort as you would think.

This week may seem easy to get motivated. After all, one of my personal favorite holidays of the year is three days away. I adore Thanksgiving and spending time with family, getting re-acquainted with the bird and stuffing and ham... oh, and sweet potatoes, and biscuits, and all the other assorted goodies you can find on most any dinner tables across this great land of ours.

However, it may also seem a bit difficult to get motivated. After all, the abundance of food mentioned above may torpedo any reasonable nutritional goals you have set for yourself. I mean, who can eat just one plate of food on Thanksgiving? That day comes just once a year, and even if you make turkey dinners for Christmas or any other special holiday or special day during the year, it's Thanksgiving and turkey on Thanksgiving is unique.

So here's one way to get motivated: It's okay to eat a lot this Thursday. Load up on turkey and ham (I'll pass on the mashed potatoes). Take an extra biscuit. Pile on the cranberries. Make room for the sweet potatoes. Enjoy yourself and the company of others.

What does that mean for the first part of the week? You'll just have to be on your best behavior. I liken it to the last part of the last mile I'm running. I just have to maintain my pace and it will all be over soon. You just have to be true to yourself and true to your meal plan for three days and then you can relax for a day. If you want to pick at snack food on Tuesday you know you shouldn't be picking on, stow it and remind yourself that you won't have to stow anything on Turkey Day.

It's good to have cheat days. Necessary even. If you are always strict and never allow yourself to indulge, you will make bad choices. That's not a supposition - that's a guarantee. It's like trying to hold your breath for longer than you can or should; at some point, you will just start to gasp for air.

So make today, tomorrow and Wednesday good days, positive days for both your fitness and nutritional needs and Thursday we'll all have loaded helpings of turkey, stuffing, ham, sweet potatoes, etc. Two helpings even. Three or four or... well, let's not push our luck!

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